Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

At last – Waitrose lets you earn airline miles when you shop in-store

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At long last, the cry from a large part of the Head for Points readership:

“Why can’t we earn miles at Waitrose?”

…. has been answered.

Via a new deal with Virgin Atlantic, you will earn 4 miles in Virgin Flying Club for every £1 you spend in-store at Waitrose.

Waitrose Virgin Flying Club miles

This is 66% more miles than you earn at Tesco if you collect Clubcard points (1 per £1) and convert them to Avios at the rate of 1 : 2.4.  For a more direct comparison, you will now earn 60% more Virgin Flying Club miles by shopping at Waitrose than if you shop at Tesco and convert your Clubcard vouchers at 1 : 2.5.

As noted in the comments, this should also allow John Lewis shoppers to buy Waitrose / John Lewis gift cards in Waitrose and collect the extra miles.

This offer is part of the Virgin Atlantic Shops Away shopping mall.  To sign up, you need to visit this page of the Virgin website and register your credit cards.   Make sure you register your partners cards as well if they are also likely to visit Waitrose.

If you register an Avios credit card, you will obviously continue to earn Avios from that as well as earning Virgin Flying Club miles via Virgin Atlantic for your shopping.

As an added benefit, registering will also earn you Virgin Flying Club miles when you use your payment card in this rather odd selection of outlets:

  • American Golf (4 per £1)
  • Blue Inc (4 per £1)
  • Debenhams (1 per £1)
  • Ernest Jones (2 per £1)
  • Forever 21 (4 per £1)
  • H Samuel (2 per £1)
  • Habitat (4 per £1)
  • Heal’s (1 per £1)
  • Jamie’s Italian (2 per £1)
  • Officers Club (4 per £1)
  • P&O Ferries (4 per £1)

If you don’t already have a Virgin Flying Club account, you may want to sign up purely to take advantage of this deal.  

At the very worse, you can redeem 12,500 miles for a £50 voucher valid at many Virgin Group companies or for Theatre Tokens.  It is also worth remembering that you can transfer Virgin Flying Club miles into Hilton Honors points (at 2:3) and IHG Rewards Club points (at 1:1) with a minimum transfer of 10,000 miles.

How can you earn more miles?

It is very easy to earn further Virgin Flying Club miles to top up your account. The options are numerous:

Take out the Virgin Atlantic credit cards.  They are currently offering enhanced sign-up bonuses of 10,000 miles on the free card and 25,000 miles on the £140 card.  You are able to apply for both cards and get both bonuses (more in this article).

Transfers from Tesco Clubcard (at a higher rate than BA, £2.50 = 625 Flying Club miles)

Transfers from American Express Membership Rewards (1:1) – transfers from Amex to Virgin are instantaneous as well, once your accounts are linked, unlike transfers to BA

Transfers from Heathrow Rewards (1:1)

Transfers from most hotel programmes, including Starwood Preferred Guest

There are also some hotels which credit to Virgin even though they do not credit to Avios

Car rentals – Virgin offers a generous 1,000 miles per Hertz rental for example

Receive 6,000 Virgin miles for taking out a Virgin Money ISA

Receive 3,000 Virgin miles with your first order from Virgin Wines

This recent article looks at where you can fly with Virgin Flying Club miles.

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (December 2022)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

You can choose from two official Virgin Atlantic credit cards (apply here, the Reward+ card has a bonus of 15,000 Virgin Points):

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

A generous earning rate for a free card at 0.75 points per £1 Read our full review

You can also earn Virgin Points from various American Express cards – and these have sign-up bonuses too.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for a year and comes with 20,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 20,000 Virgin Points.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points.

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Small business owners should consider the two American Express Business cards. Points convert at 1:1 into Virgin Points.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Virgin Points

(Want to earn more Virgin Points?  Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)

Comments (265)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Toby Walsh says:

    You see that’s just naughty and hopefully they’ll cotton on to your dishonest ways!

    • barnaby100 says:

      Why is it dishonest? I don’t buy stuff to then return it but when you do return items they done take the miles back – nothing to do with me!

  • vol says:

    sorry if this has been discussed already – I see there is an overlap in Avios in-store and Virgin In-store offers – does that mean that I get Avios AND Virgin Miles? 😀

  • Janeyferr says:

    This is excellent news: I’m currently buying my first home and it is in a town where the main shop is a Waitrose.

  • mark E says:

    Slightly O/T . With the rules changing for the free Waitrose Coffee , ‘thrifty’ people might want to consider buying a banana or a packet of paracetamol , as both of these will be less than 30p

    • the real harry1 says:

      just get a grape or a small carrot, a sprout or a tiny piece of ginger (5p)

      been there, done that (Tesco)

      hello, ELITE 🙂

      • Polly says:

        Really! You wouldn’t dare… Everyone needs milk!

        • the real harry1 says:

          I did it while we were making a couple of hundred pounds a day out of it 🙂

  • vish says:


    My scenario is that i am in a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 children).

    we will shortly have 2x 2-4-1 vouchers. when attempting to redeem can you book using both vouchers at the same time, ie to ensure i can get 4 of the same, or do you have to redeem a single 2-4-1, go back in and try to redeem another 2-4-1 ?

    • Polly says:

      Vish, we all wish you,luck on that one. You have to be very lucky to find 4 J seats first of all on a flight. Think, Rob will know, you have to call up and say the system won’t let you do it all together…it’s tricky, hope you are successful and very optimistic of you, esp if it’s in school hols!

      • vish says:

        i thought as much! have you had experience of this in the past? i’d be interested to know what the best tips are for attempting this redemption.

        • Genghis says:

          Rob has given some advice in the past in this in a post. From memory, be flexible, don’t expect to fly to in demand destinations (e.g. South Africa), be flexible on airport (e.g. San Jose / San Diego over SFO and LAX). Where were you thinking of going?

    • Simon says:

      I have the same scenario…… Have just got back from Dubai – 4 x Club World Returns, and we went to Miami in December – 4 x Club Worlds… so it is possible.
      Both times I booked 2 separate bookings (Me and my son on one, and my wife and daughter on the other). Then called BA to link up the two bookings. All flights we were seated together in the middle 4 club world seats, so they do make it easy for a family…. Good Luck!

  • Mr(s) Entitled says:

    250 comments on Waitrose. This place is going to explode when the new middle class darling (Aldi) joins the party.

    • mark2 says:

      I buy 3 items from Aldi, about 4 from Lidl, 2 from Tesco + reduced items, 3 from Sainsbury, some from farm shops and the rest from Waitrose.
      I live within 30 mins drive of four, soon to be five Waitrose branches in rural Warks/Worcs.

    • Will says:

      Haha. They don’t accept Amex though :((

  • mark2 says:

    The new Waitrose in Worcester is said to be their largest. It has got a coffee shop and a restaurant, a sushi bar and a wine and tapas bar; an enormous non-food area and a large room that local organisations can use free of charge.

  • m2808 says:

    OT on Supplementary Card for Amex Gold: do you know if a credit check is conducted on the addiitonal cardholder and if it shows in his / her credit history?

    • Nick says:

      No because there’s no such thing as a ‘joint credit card’ and you’re therefore liable for all spend on it. They can do an ID check but not a credit one (besides, many supp cards can be given to under 18s who won’t have a credit file…)

      As for all the ‘why not avios’ comments, think about it for a second. You can’t get Avios at Hertz because Avis is the exclusive Avios partner… you can’t get it at Waitrose because Tesco is the sole partner. Simples.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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